After further review: Week 1

Week 1 of the 2015 college football season is now in the books, as Ohio State began defense of its national championship by avenging its lone loss last season against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to close out the opening week on Monday night. While there wasn't too much drama over the first few days of the new campaign, there were certainly a lot of notable performances in the season's debut week. The kickoff to the Jim Harbaugh era may have taken center stage last Thursday night, but plenty of other storylines played out across the country by the end of Monday evening. Here are my biggest takeways from the weekend's action. • The SEC West isn't going away any time soon. Since the division went 2-5 in bowl games last season, we have heard proclamations that it was an overrated group of teams. Alabama was handled by Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinal, Ole Miss was mauled by TCU, Mississippi State was run over by Georgia Tech and Auburn lost to Wisconsin. To top things off, college football's champion did not come from the SEC. But on Saturday, the SEC West made an emphatic statement, as Alabama topped Wisconsin, Auburn held on to beat Louisville and Texas A&M used a monstrous defensive effort to defeat Arizona State. The Crimson Tide returned to Jerry World, the site of last season's loss to the Buckeyes, and made amends so to speak by featuring beastly running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns. That was the 'Bama that the nation has come to know under Nick Saban. Oh, and the great Wisconsin ground game was held in check, as the Badgers were held to a measly 39 rushing yards. Throw in a solid performance from quarterback Jake Coker, whose play (16-of-22 passing for 219 yards) relegated Cooper Bateman to mop-up duty, and 'Bama fans should be enthused. For Gus Malzahn's Tigers, we saw flashes of an improved defense under new coordinator Will Muschamp in a 31-24 win over Louisville in Atlanta. The Tigers put on a defensive clinic in the first half, as they forced two turnovers that led to scores and notched four sacks en route to holding Louisville scoreless in the first 30 minutes. One concern that we didn't see coming was the struggles of new starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson, who tossed three interceptions in the victory. In his limited appearances last year, he certainly looked the part of a stud quarterback. But against the Cardinals, we saw him force throws and struggle with his decision-making. It was just one game, but perhaps Malzahn will strip down the playbook a bit. Meanwhile, we finally saw a standout defensive performance for a Kevin Sumlin-coached Aggies squad, as new defensive coordinator John Chavis oversaw a dominant performance in a win over Arizona State in Houston. A&M held the Sun Devils to 17 points, 233 total yards of offense and 3.5 yards per play, led by stud ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall (the pair combined for six sacks). The unit racked up nine sacks, forced five fumbles and allowed just 2.2 yards per carry -- just a fantastic debut for the Chavis unit. The dilemma now for Sumlin is who to play under center. Kyle Allen was replaced by Kyler Murray, the true freshman who is not a polished passer but could make big plays with his legs. However, when Murray injured his hip, Allen returned to lead the Aggies to two touchdowns, including one to Christian Kirk (who scored on a 79-yard punt return and a 66-yard screen pass). He looked like a different player after the benching. And now that A&M took care of the Sun Devils, the schedule isn't too overwhelming. Though it is an SEC slate, of course. Other thoughts • While all of the attention centered on whether J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones would start at quarterback, it was former signal-caller Braxton Miller who stole the show in Ohio State’s 42-24 win over Virginia Tech on Monday night in Blacksburg. Miller displayed the explosiveness that college football fans came to expect while he was winning the Big Ten offensive player of the year award twice. The former star quarterback caught a 54-yard touchdown pass that gave the Buckeyes the lead again early in the third quarter, and he later added a 53-yard touchdown run that featured a video-game spin move. The Buckeyes began defense of their national title without suspended defensive end Joey Bosa and three receivers, and they pulled away from the Hokies despite looking sloppy at times. That’s a scary thought for each and every opposing defense on the OSU schedule. • We are seeing young quarterbacks increasingly make big impacts across the college football landscape. The latest is UCLA true freshman signal-caller Josh Rosen, who did not play like an 18-year-old making his first college start in the Bruins' 41-13 win over Virginia on Saturday. Rosen, who graduated early to compete in spring ball and ultimately won the starting job in August, completed 28 of 35 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He was sacked just once and spread the ball around beautifully. He is working behind a sound offensive line and has a lot of talented skill players at his disposal. There likely will be some ups and downs, but his poise is impressive. However, while UCLA fans are excited about Rosen, there should be concern about the defense after star tackle Eddie Vanderdoes went down with a torn ACL. The Vanderdoes-Kenny Clark pair inside gave the Bruins a stout DT combo. Throw in the indefinite suspension of cornerback Ishmael Adams, and that's two star players missing from that unit. • In his second career start, Notre Dame junior quarterback Malik Zaire threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-22 passing, as the Fighting Irish crushed Texas 38-3. The three points for the 'Horns tied the team's fewest in a season opener since 1950. Almost exactly one year ago, Texas lost to BYU 41-7. So the QB spot may be the least of the Longhorns' concerns right now. Meanwhile, the Irish received terrible news when it was announced that running back Tarean Folston would be shelved for the season because of a torn ACL. Of course, backup Greg Bryant was ruled academically ineligible in August. So senior C.J. Prosise, who rushed 20 times for 98 yards, and true freshman Josh Adams, who had five rushes for 49 yards and two touchdowns, will be the top backs. But what once was a strength is now a major concern for ND because of that lack of RB depth. • Jeff Driskel has found new life at Louisiana Tech. The graduate transfer from Florida completed 12 of 15 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns (along with a rushing score) in the first half of a 62-15 win over Southern. Driskel, of course, had a tough time in the SEC spotlight with the Gators, so hopefully he's able to enjoy a productive final season of college ball.

• Taysom Hill has once again been lost for the season, which means that he is unfortunately done at the collegiate level. BYU's exciting win on a last-second Hail Mary over Nebraska came at a huge cost, as preseason Heisman Trophy contender Hill suffered a mild sprained ankle early in the game but was able to eventually return. However, in the fourth quarter, Hill slid short of the first-down marker on a third-and-long play, and he ultimately limped off the field and went to the locker room. After throwing for 268 yards, rushing for 72 more and accounting for three scores, he left the game with a Lisfranc foot fracture. Hill has been one of the more exciting players in recent BYU memory, and it's a shame that college football fans were unable to see a healthy Hill throughout his career. Backup Tanner Mangum finished up the game and tossed the Hail Mary pass to Mitch Matthews that won the game for the Cougars. By the way, BYU’s win in Lincoln snapped Nebraska’s 29-game winning streak in season openers, which dated back to 1985. Florida now has the longest active streak in FBS at 25 games.

• In addition to Hill being out for the year, star Pitt running back James Conner will miss the season as well. He left Saturday's 45-37 win over Youngstown State after tearing his MCL. He was the centerpiece of the Panthers' offense last season, as he rushed nearly 300 times for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns.

• Penn State's offensive line remains a disaster. After being battered and bruised throughout the 2014 campaign, quarterback Christian Hackenberg was sacked 10 more times -- 10! -- in a brutal 27-10 loss to Temple, which received three sacks from linebacker Tyler Matakevich. The last time the Nittany Lions lost to the Owls was in 1941, a stretch that covered 39 games. • One of the more impressive starts to the season that went a bit under the radar came from West Virginia, which held last year's No. 1 rushing offense scoreless. Sure, Georgia Southern was breaking in a new offensive line and was without quarterback Kevin Ellison (two-game suspension), but the Mountaineers' 44-0 win came against an Eagles team that hung tight with N.C. State and Georgia Tech last year in its first season of FBS competition. WVU safety Karl Joseph led a strong secondary with three interceptions, and this is expected to be Dana Holgorsen's strongest defensive unit yet in Morgantown as the 'Neers brought back nine starters on that side of the ball. • Vernon Adams made his Oregon debut on Saturday, completing 19 of 25 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 14 times for 94 yards in a 61-42 win over his former team, Eastern Washington. But he had an injury scare after taking a cheap shot in the fourth quarter. He was given a concussion test in the locker room and said he would be ready for the showdown on Saturday at Michigan State. • Syracuse received a brutal blow when quarterback Terrel Hunt was lost for the year after suffering a torn Achilles tendon Friday in a 47-0 win over Rhode Island. This is the second consecutive season ended by injury for the senior captain. Last year, Hunt started the first five games for the Orange before suffering a season-ending broken leg. True freshman Eric Dungey, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 114 yards and two scores in relief, is expected to get the start in the team's ACC opener against Wake Forest. Meanwhile, Syracuse is expected to apply for a sixth year of eligibility for Hunt. • The Everett Golson era in Tallahassee started out strong, as the former Notre Dame quarterback completed 19 of 25 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns in Florida State's 59-16 win over Texas State. He should be in store for a big year as long as he protects the football, which was his No. 1 issue last year in South Bend. • It's great to see Bowling Green's Matt Johnson healthy again. The quarterback, who missed last season due to injury, threw for 424 yards in a 59-30 loss to Tennessee, which had 399 rushing yards in the game. The Vols have to shore up that pass defense, though, as they prepare to face Oklahoma and new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley this week. • William Likely is ridiculous. The Maryland cornerback had four total touchdowns (on two interceptions, one punt return and one kickoff return) last season, and he started off the 2015 season with a bang. In a 50-21 win over Richmond on Saturday, he returned eight punts for 233 yards, including a 67-yard score. Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

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